Republic Airways Tattoo Policy in 2023 (Flight Attendants & Pilots)

Given how far the world has already come in terms of tattoo acceptance, you’d think there aren’t any businesses that still discriminate against inked people.

Unfortunately, there are still a lot of them, with aviation an obvious example.

When it comes to US-based carriers, Republic Airways maintains a strong stance on the matter.

If you’ve been considering a career as a flight attendant or pilot, the latest Republic Airways tattoo policy, which we’ll go over below, should set your mind at ease.

Republic Airways tattoo policy highlights

Republic Airways Tattoo Policy – All You Need to Know

To be honest, the news isn’t good for many tattooed people who wish to fly with Republic.

At the moment, the airline prohibits its crew members from wearing visible tattoos while in uniform. Unfortunately, due to the strictness of the policy, even ultra-small tattoos are not authorized, and they cannot be covered with cosmetics or a band-aid (some airlines are okay with this).

Male and female crew uniforms are, of course, distinct. As a result, the tattoo placements will differ (as you can see in the image below).

Allowed tattoo areas at Republic Airways
Allowed tattoo areas at Republic Airways

Tattoos on the heads, necks, lower arms, or hands are prohibited for all Republic Airways crew members. Ladies must be ink-free from the bottom of their thighs down.

Republic has no laws in place regarding the number of tattoos in hidden locations (as of now).

How About Long-Sleeved Shirts?

Even if you have tattoos on the lower parts of your arm(s) or forearm(s), there is still hope.

Working at Republic Airways allows you to wear either long-sleeved or short-sleeved uniforms. If you go with the first option, your tattoos will be hidden as long as they do not extend past the cuff of your shirt.

Republic Airways flight attendant
Republic Airways flight attendant

It is critical to understand that this does not guarantee employment with the airline. Management reserves the right to make the final choice, and you may be asked about your tattoos during the interview process.

In other words, you’ll almost certainly have to pull up your sleeves at some point, exposing your tattoos.

Some US Airlines Are More Relaxed

Most major US carriers follow Republic Airways’ rigorous policy (eg. Frontier Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest).

However, a few are more accepting of tattooed flight attendants and pilots. Here are some notable examples:

  • Alaska Airlines and United Airlines allow minor visible tattoos as long as they are tasteful and do not exceed the size of the uniform badge
  • SkyWest – considers visible tattoos on a case-by-case basis, based on size, relevance, and placement.

Why Are Airlines So Critical of Tattoos?

The main reason behind these restrictive policies is the fear of offending customers.

Some people still see tattoos as taboo, and they might not want to fly with an airline that employs inked crew members. It’s also worth noting that many families fly with young children, who might be frightened by someone with a lot of visible ink.

As weird as all of the above might sound in this age, it is the reality of the commercial aviation industry. Only time will tell if these policies ever change.

One thing is for sure – the adoption of less strict policies by a growing number of airlines (both in the US and worldwide) means there’s only one way this is going – tattoos in the cockpit and cabins will finally be accepted by the mainstream aviation industry.

How long it will take is another story.